North America


In July, the EU-US Privacy Shield was invalidated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) (see our prior alert). While the Court upheld the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC’s) as a sufficient transfer mechanism, it indicated that supplementary measures, to address inadequate privacy protections of some foreign jurisdictions, might be necessary, requiring a case-by-case assessment.

Since that time, the U.S. Department of Commerce has spoken out about the legal basis for cross-border data transfers, the European Data Protection Board (the EDPB) has provided guidance on supplementary measures and now the SCC’s have been updated by the European Commission (the Commission), and remain subject to a public comment period through December 10th, 2020.

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Rule 10: Don’t Be Creepy™

The final installment of a 10-part series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.

Did COVID-19 end sexual harassment?

Did a global pandemic that sent humanity indoors, forcing many of us to work remotely (if at all) and to be socially distant while avoiding handshakes and touching obviate the need for such an obvious rule?  Well, not exactly.  I have been advising clients on this rule and the ripe environment for harassment claims since the pandemic began, and in candor, my position has been met with varying degrees of skepticism (yes, you can still see people rolling their eyes even if they’re not on camera.)

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Slowdown in the DMV: District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia Tighten Business Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Climb

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia all recently have implemented additional mitigation measures that impact business operations.  Below is a summary of the key restrictions of which businesses within the DMV should be aware.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia maintains a compilation of Phase Two Guidance to assist all businesses in reopening (or staying open) responsibly.  Recently, on November 6, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-110, which modifies previous quarantine guidelines for visitors traveling to the District and for residents returning home.  This modified order will impact whether and when employees may return to work after traveling outside of the DMV.

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Video: Employers Navigate New Marijuana Laws – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota approved adult recreational marijuana use. Mississippi and South Dakota also legalized medicinal marijuana. Employers should review workplace drug and testing policies and be aware they may also need to provide reasonable accommodations for medical marijuana users going forward. Read more.

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Informal Chat with Justice Malcolm Rowe and Pierre E. Moreau

November 16, 2020 — This Friday, November 20, the Canadian Bar Association will be hosting via videoconference a discussion between the Honourable Malcolm Rowe, of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Pierre E. Moreau. Pierre is a veteran of these “fireside chats” with a judge of the Supreme Court or another appeals tribunal; we can therefore expect a lively discussion where several facets of Justice Rowe’s career and thoughts will be featured.

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Connolly Gallagher Congratulates Chip Connolly on Being Selected to the 2020 Irish Legal 100

Connolly Gallagher Managing partner, Arthur G. (“Chip”) Connolly, III has been named to the 2020 Irish Legal 100. In their 13th year, the Irish Legal 100 is honoring it’s largest class ever -209 honorees.

The Irish Legal 100, founded in 2008 in New York, is an annual compilation of the most distinguished legal professionals in the United States who share one common bond: pride in their Irish roots. The list includes attorneys, legal scholars and members of the judiciary who have distinguished themselves in their fields of endeavor. Members include United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor, CBS News correspondent Erin Moriarty and many more.

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New Faces at RSS (Behind Their Mask, Naturally!)

November 13, 2020 — RSS is pleased to announce that four new members recently joined our team:

  • We are especially pleased with the return of Laurence Gauthier, who practiced with us for 10 years before leaving temporarily in 2015. Laurence is a seasoned litigator and over the years she has represented entities in diverse areas. More particularly, she has acquired an expertise in insurance litigation with a sub-specialty in insurance coverage matters as well as professional liability, civil liability, product liability, construction, and latent defects. Laurence will be an asset to our vibrant insurance practice group.
  • Éliane Dufour-Fallon, also a litigator, is another recruit in our Insurance Law Practice Group. Since being called to the Bar in 2017, she has acquired experience in the numerous facets of civil liability. Her dynamic personality is a definite asset to the team.
  • Notary Adrien Tillet is now a member of our Estates, Wills and Trusts Group. In addition to holding a law degree and practicing as a notary for two years, his passion for history materialized as a degree in History from Université de Paris-Ouest.
  • Laurianne Falardeau, joins our paralegal team in the in the Insurance Law Practice Group with great enthusiasm. A paralegal since 2016, she brings to RSS some five years of expertise assistance in civil and commercial litigation matters.
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On November 2, 2020, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-9, which sets out details of the new rent support program called the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (“CERS“), which was previously announced on October 9, 2020. Bill C-9 would serve to amend the Income Tax Act (Canada). As of the date of this article, the legislation has yet to receive royal assent and remains subject to change.

The new rent subsidy provides support to qualifying businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CERS effectively replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA“) program and provides more flexibility and accessibility to both commercial tenants and property owners.

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The European Data Protection Board Issues Guidance on Cross-Border Data Transfers

On November 11, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) issued eagerly awaited guidance for complying with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for protecting the privacy rights of individuals in their personal data subject to potential transfer from the European Union (EU) to the United States and other countries. The guidance comes in the wake of the uncertainly following the Court of Justice’s July 16, 2020 decision in Schrems II invalidating the EU-US Privacy Shield and upholding the use of standard contractual clauses as a permissible vehicle to transfer personal data to countries outside of the European Union provided there are “effective mechanisms” in place to ensure a level of protection for the data that is “essentially equivalent” to that existing within the European Union. The Court recognized that additional safeguards may be needed to provide an adequate level of protection because the standard contractual clauses are between private parties, and do not bind governmental authorities.

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Recreational marijuana has been legalized in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota, as ballot initiatives legalizing marijuana have passed in all four states. This brings the tally up to 15 states plus Washington D.C. that permit recreational marijuana, and 1/3 of Americans now live in states where recreational marijuana will be legal for anyone 21 years of age or older.


The legality of marijuana is a complicated issue in the United States. Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA), and it is therefore a federal crime to grow, sell or possess marijuana. Nonetheless, the Obama administration maintained a policy of non-enforcement in states where marijuana was legal, primarily via two documents—the Joyce Amendment and the Cole Memo.

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